CHICAGO (Aug. 12, 2007) – The U.S. Women’s National Team rolled past an over-matched New Zealand team to win 6-1 on a hot afternoon at Soldier Field as forward Abby Wambach and midfielder Carli Lloyd each scored twice.
The USA improve its record to 12-0-2 in 2007 with just one game left in the team’s Send-Off Series before leaving for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. This year, the USA is 10-0-2 against teams that will be playing in the Women’s World Cup.
New Zealand qualified for China by winning the Oceania Confederation qualifying tournament, and will be playing in its first Women’s World Cup tournament since 1991, but the plucky islanders could not match the USA’s speed and athleticism and were out-shot 33-2. New Zealand’s lone goal came off a penalty kick from former Duke University star Rebecca Smith in the 73rd minute.
By that time, the USA had built a 5-0 lead with the first goal coming in the seventh minute as Cat Whitehill sent a soaring free kick from just inside the U.S. half over the New Zealand defense. Wambach got separation from her mark and ran under the ball. In a goal remarkably similar to the one she scored against Brazil on June 23, she flicked a diving header past Kiwi goalkeeper Jenny Bindon into the lower right corner.
Wambach added her second goal with seconds left in the game after substitute Natasha Kai weaved her way free in the left side of the penalty area and fired a shot. Wambach deflected the ball with her leg, hockey style, changing the trajectory of the ball and it spun into the right side of the net.
The two goals upped Wambach’s career total to 77 in 95 international games and moved her into sole possession of fifth place on the U.S. all-time scoring list behind Mia Hamm (158), Kristine Lilly (125), Michelle Akers (105) and Tiffeny Milbrett (100). She has a team-leading 11 goals in 2007.
Lilly scored her goal in the 33rd minute, doubling the lead as she made a great run straight up the middle to collect perfectly slipped pass from Wambach. The ball caught up under her feet, but she was able to recover before any Kiwis could attempt to tackle and chipped her left-footed shot into the right corner from eight yards out. It was Lilly’s seventh goal of 2007 and 125th of her career, still second all-time to Mia Hamm.
Lloyd scored her first of the game a minute later on one of the most spectacular shots from distance in recent U.S. history. After Shannon Boxx won a tackle in midfield, the ball squirted to Lloyd who squared up on goal and hit a searing left-footed blast from 38 yards out. Bindon got a hand on the ball, but it had too much heat on it, and she could only push the ball into the upper left corner.
Lindsay Tarpley scored the first goal of the second half in the 57th minute, courtesy of bullet header by Lloyd off a corner kick from Stephanie Lopez from the right side. Lloyd skied over a defender to hammer a header at the net, which was blocked off the goal line by a defender. Tarpley was in the right place and took a touch before roofing her shot from close range. It was Tarpley’s 16th career international goal.
Lloyd got her second of the game in the 60th minute off a perfect free kick cross from Lilly. The U.S. captain bent the ball to the far post from the deep in the left corner and Lloyd lost her mark before pounding a header into the upper right corner from four yards out. This double marked Lloyd’s first-ever two-goal game and upped her international total to eight. The assist was the 99th of Lilly’s career. With one more, she becomes just the second member of a very exclusive club, joining Mia Hamm on the list of players have scored more than 100 goals and dished for 100 assists.
The U.S. goalkeepers had little to do during the afternoon as starter Hope Solo did not have to touch a ball with her hands and first played one with her feet in the 25th minute. The Kiwis did not force halftime substitute Briana Scurry to make a play with her hands until the 54th minute.
Ryan used all his available substitutes, putting on Lloyd in the first half for Heather O’Reilly, who went 28 minutes after recovering from minor injuries. Ryan also gave time to defender Tina Ellertson and midfielders Leslie Osborne and Marci Jobson, as well as to Kai.
Lloyd came inches from a hat trick in the 90th minute when she latched onto a flicked header from Abby Wambach and turned toward goal, but cracked her shot off the top of the crossbar.
The U.S. team will go now go on its final break before re-grouping on Aug. 18 in Los Angeles in preparation for an Aug. 25 Send-Off match against Finland at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The USA will head to China on Aug. 27 and face North Korea on Sept. 11 in Chengdu to open the Women’s World Cup. For complete details and ticket information on the match against Finland visit ussoccer.com.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. New Zealand
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.
Date: Aug. 12, 2007; Kickoff – Noon CT
Weather: Sunny, hot - 84
1 2 F
USA 3 3 6
NZL 0 1 1
USA – Abby Wambach (Cat Whitehill) 7th minute.
USA – Kristine Lilly (Abby Wambach) 33.
USA – Carli Lloyd (Shannon Boxx) 34.
USA – Lindsay Tarpley (unassisted) 57.
USA – Carli Lloyd (Kristine Lilly) 60.
NZE – Rebecca Smith (penalty kick) 73.
USA – Abby Wambach (Natasha Kai) 90.
USA: 18-Hope Solo (1-Briana Scurry, 46); 3-Christie Rampone, 4-Cat Whitehill, 15-Kate Markgraf (8-Tina Ellertson, 46), 14-Stephanie Lopez; 7-Shannon Boxx (12-Leslie Osborne, 64), 17-Lori Chalupny; 5-Lindsay Tarpley (6-Natasha Kai, 64), 9-Heather O’Reilly (11-Carli Lloyd, 29), 20-Abby Wambach, 13-Kristine Lilly – Capt. (19-Marci Jobson, 79)
Subs not used: 2-Marian Dalmy
Head Coach: Greg Ryan
NZL: 21-Jenny Bindon; 2-Rebecca Smith, 3-Abby Erceg, 4-Maia Jackman (15-Emily McColl, 66), 7-Ria Percival, 11-Marlies Oostdam (16-Wendi Henderson, 66), 12-Hayley Moorwood (16-Wendi Henderson, 65), 24-Priscilla Duncan (14-Annalie Longo, 83), 28-Emma Humphries (27-Michele Clarke, 74), 6-Ali Riley (23-Rebecca Sowden, 84), 30-Rebecca Tegg.
Subs not used: 20-Rachel Howard, 26-Merissa Smith.
Head Coach: John Herdman
USA / NZL
Shots: 33 / 2
Shots on Goal: 17 / 2
Saves: 1 / 9
Corner Kicks: 16 / 0
Fouls: 7 / 9
Offside: 3 / 0
USA – Kristine Lilly (caution) 68th minute.
Referee: Jennifer Bennett
Asst. Referee: Sharon Wheeler
Asst. Referee: Margaret Domka
Fourth Official: Kristine Lamm
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd